the words on the page
once resided in my brain
like pre-condensed rain
I’ve been thinking a lot about the Picasso quote, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” I think Picasso’s outlook on the relationship between youth and art can be applied to a lot of human endeavors. While I very much agree with the artistic application, there are all sorts of other fields in which the inherent, unbridled, and even naive creativity of a child can be helpful.
It reminds me of my high school art teacher, who used to tell us, “draw what you see.” At first, his advice seemed too simple to be helpful, but the more we engaged in the effort, the more apparent it became that all kinds preconditioning affect our ability to clearly convey, or understand, an image or idea. By discarding all the personal and mental interference, his simple command helped us become the artists we were capable of being — not that any of us were ever going to be another Rembrandt (or Picasso, for that matter).
Even before that, as a child, I resorted to simple analogies to figure out a lot of concepts that came more easily to other people. Because I struggled with certain basic concepts (especially relating to language), I had to resort to a more basic way of learning. But because I resorted to a more basic view of things, I was also fortunate to be able to notice things I might not have otherwise.
Sometimes noticing these details in a different light slows me down, makes me wonder about them — much the way a child would. Sometimes it makes for distraction; other times it provides an advantage. I still haven’t figured out which one it’s more of.